Ramadan 2024: What to do and see at Hai Ramadan at Expo City Dubai

Running throughout the holy month, the event is becoming an annual family attraction

Hai Ramadan is on at Expo City Dubai until April 10. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Hai Ramadan is establishing itself as a key UAE Ramadan location.

After its debut season at Expo City Dubai last year, the family festival returns over the holy month with plenty to offer families, foodies and culture lovers.

Running daily until April 10, the event provides another opportunity to appreciate the sprawling grounds of Expo City Dubai with Al Wasl Plaza, once again, the star of the show.

Here is what you need to know about Hai Ramadan.

Arrive in time for the iftar cannon

The iftar cannon goes off at sunset daily to signal the fasting day is over, and is one of the main attractions at Hai Ramadan.

More than the thrill of hearing the big bang at the pathway leading to Al Wasl Plaza, it is the ceremony preceding that’s worth the visit. A few minutes before the scheduled time, uniformed officers arrive on site and in a choreographed move to insert the shell in the cannon.

At the appointed time, the head officer shouts the order and the cannon goes off followed by the sound of the call to prayer. With the dome of the Wasl Plaza taking on a purple hue to match the colour of the sky, it is a beautiful sight.

Check out the shows

You may not know where to look when it comes to the performances at Hai Ramadan.

Each evening features a program of audio-visual, musical and cultural performances at Al Wasl Plaza. These include shows by UAE’s cultural dance and drumming groups and a children’s stage show featuring Dubai Expo City mascots Rashid and Latifa.

Meanwhile, Al Wasl Plaza’s dome also serves as a stage with engaging multimedia presentations featuring dynamic lighting design, evocative abstract images and symphonic soundtracks.

Those looking for a more relaxing environment can head outside Al Wasl Plaza and watch hit MBC Ramadan dramas on a large screen on beanbags and couches.

There are plenty of food options

From lavish buffets and Emirati regag (home-made bread) and luqaimat (sweet fried dough) to burgers and shawarmas, there is a lot to choose from for your iftar and suhoor needs.

Each day from sunset until 8pm, Hai Ramadan offers an iftar buffet at the Oasis Food Hall and the Surreal water feature.

With tickets at Dh220 for those more than 16 years old, Dh95 for children aged six to 12, and free to anyone younger, the iftars feature Middle Eastern and international cuisine. Food trucks and stalls are also available around the circular venue and include the popular burger brand Salt and pop-up of Levant restaurant Allo Beirut.

While plenty of seating options surround the food trucks and within the larger Dubai Expo City site itself, the best location is the comfortable steps peering over the performances on Al Wasl Plaza.

The local souq is a vibe

The market stalls play a big part in creating the community atmosphere at Hai Ramadan.

Walk around the dome and adjoining avenues and you will come across a range of outlets selling Emirati foods, arts and crafts, as well as oud and perfumes.

Look out for any “Dukan Yadoo” across the site, as the snack stalls always prove popular. Also known as grandmother's supermarket, the shelves are packed with local and nostalgic treats, including vintage lolly and chocolate brands, as well as the Chips Oman.

Falconry displays and camel rides are available around the periphery of Wasl Plaza.

How to get there

The ideal entryway and exit point is through the Sustainability Gate with its ample car park space and taxi ranks. From there, it is a straight 10-minute walk to Al Wasl Plaza.

Hai Ramadan iftar runs daily until April 10 from 5pm to 12am. Tickets are Dh20 each from dubai.platinumlist.net or physically on site.

Updated: March 27, 2024, 12:46 AM